How to Make Japanese Doll Bookmark

Image from It's Better Handmade

If you are looking for a weekend project that you can do with your kids, or if you want to give your friends something unique, or perhaps you need a better bookmark to use when reading books, making a Japanese doll bookmark is definitely worth doing.

This bookmark project is not that difficult to do. As a matter of fact, you will definitely have fun making one that you will probably be buying more materials for this. How to make one for your own use? Here’s what you will need:

  • Chiyogami or any Japanese paper with dimensions of 5.5 x 12 cm.
  • Paper for the obi-jime. You can use chiyogami or Yuzen if you like but other types of paper will do too.
  • Paper for collar and obi about 1.5 cm wide.
  • White card to create the head which is around 2cm in diameter and body at 3mm wide.
  • Japanese or standard crepe paper for the hair.
  • Sticky tape
  • Double sided tape
  • Scissors

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Cut a small strip of collar paper and fold it into two. Fold the collar paper around the body with the left portion going under the right which is how kimonos are worn. Place a strip of tape on the length of the body and leave it for the mean time.
  1. With the wrong side of the collar paper up, fold one edge by 1cm. Flip your collar paper over and fold about 0.5cm back over. This will be the collar of the kimono.
  1. Get the body of the doll with the under collar wrapped around the neck and tape it on the collar paper. Make sure that a small strip of the under collar can be seen.
  1. Start folding the collar from the left but press down on the top part of the collar paper only. The rest of the paper should be folded over so that there will be a straight edge going down the kimono. If there is an excess paper on the corner of the collar, remove it. Do the same with the right side of the collar paper.
  1. Next, you will need to place the obi paper on top of the folds of the kimono to hide them. Tape the obi paper at the back.
  1. Cut a strip from your obijime paper and put it on top of the obi. You can add layers here if you like.
  1. Now for the head. Get a small piece of crepe paper and position it half way from the head that you made. Take note that the grain of the crepe paper should be going downwards to simulate hair. Flip the head around and trim the edges. You don’t have to worry about the edges being perfect as this will be covered by the rest of the crepe paper that you have.
  1. Tape the head of your doll to the neck. Use double sided tape to so that the rest of the hair can be put in place. Now place the back of the head onto the hair paper leaving room at the top. You should then fold the hair to create an angle up to the middle. You can add more volume to the hair by making several folds. Repeat with the other side of the crepe paper. Twist the top hair and fold it backwards. You can secure it in place if you like.
Image from Omiyage Blogs

And you’re done! You can alter the shape of the hair if you like or use different papers for the clothes of your doll now that you know the basics.